As ‘The Red Balloon Project’ opens with the song ‘Like Me’ expect to roll your eyes as you hear the up and coming New York based rapper, Skizzy Mars’s voice sound eerily like a mix between rappers like Drake and Big Sean. An unflattering mixture for sure and one that’s becoming more and more common in modern-day Hip-Hop as people search for a persona to portray that says that they’re ‘sensitive and likes to cuddle and stuff, but I ain’t no bitch, fool’ much like Drake’s entire career. It’s a trend that a lot of new rappers are jumping to their detriment. The word ‘trend’ is the operative word here as rappers seem to be jumping on this band wagon instead crafting their own style.
Skizzy Mars is the latest victim of this unfortunate trend as he spends most of the time singing/rapping through these light vocal effects that somehow make him sound even more like Drake than he already would without them. They manage to drain most of the character out of his voice making him sound like a monotonous whiner. Case and point for this are the first two tracks on here ‘Like Me’ and ‘The City’, the latter of the which has this horrible tinge of reverb thrown on everything to try to make it sound as smooth as it can, but ends up feeling like a cheap trick.
Skizzy is full of cheap tricks lyrically on here as well with him spending the vast majority of the time attempting to get women whom he regards as having the correct amount of sex appeal to sleep with him. These gestures sound slightly tepid and are another instance where he sounds like a watered down Drake with lines like ‘We can get wasted or we can watch Netflix’ while also informing the audience that these events would be happening in his fancy hotel room on the song ‘Be Lazy’. Other lyrics persist about him smoking, getting high, wanting to fuck girls; or getting high in order to get some confidence to fuck girls. Of course he doesn’t do this in the crude way that a lot of other rappers do, which is always refreshing, but he still does it in a way that says ‘Yeah I wanna shag you and leave you, but I’m going to pretend to be nice in the way I do it’.
It’s a shame that the production on here is promising for a vast section of it, with guitars playing over the top of some very minimalistic trap beats. Even if like the rest of the album the beats aren’t exactly original they do stand on their own two feet – you know it’s a problem when you’re beats feel a whole lot more genuine than your rapping does. Skizzy does have a decent flow at points like on the track ‘Time’ but it’s ruined by how imitative and empty the tracks feel. At least Drake is able to pull off a song every now and again that feels like he’s actually put some thought into the subject matter rather than rapping about ‘bitches’ for the sake of it. Skizzy Mars does have promising moments but it really doesn’t feel like he’s putting the thought or effort into making something that will stick with a listener after the song finishes.
Best Songs: Time